I recently wrote a post about scheduling. I want to elaborate a little more on it because, well, it’s important.
Have you ever found yourself making pretend plans with people? Saying things like, “we’ll get together when the kids are in school”, or “let’s do it before the holidays” kind of like those timeframes will make it easier to do the plans. The truth is, most of those plans go unmade and we all just say them as filler or something to say, but deep down, not even deep down, we know we’re not gonna do any of that.
I’m guilty of empty talk too, but empty talk is annoying and disingenuous, make an effort to be more intentional and sincere. If it’s important, get your calendar out and schedule it, period, the end.
The big difference between saying you’ll do something and actually doing something is intention, followed by action, otherwise it’s only talk.
One of the reasons I’m writing this post is because just a few months ago (September) while working with a consulting client I asked her what shows she has booked for the last quarter. (Where retail probably makes more than half of their money for the year) she had two shows pretty much booked, but that was it. Two shows? That’s not really enough.
Side note: If you’re a smaller business trying to grow, and you only have two shows for the entire holiday season, you had better get on the phone and start making calls if you want to grow.
Once you hit September life just moves twice as fast if you’re in retail, before you know it Halloween has come and gone & now you’re lucky if people will have time to go to lunch with you. You’re so late in the year, if you don’t have your events at least in the works of being booked, just forget it. Now, I’m not saying you couldn't get lucky and do some spur of the moment shows or events, but you will be far more successful if these events are planned for.
Now, we’re actually in February so you might be thinking, great this info will be helpful in about 6 months. Well, yes it will be helpful then, but also now. If you’re a small, but growing business and say you were lucky enough to have two of your friends host a trunk show for you, and it went well, then you need to talk to them about booking it for next year. Ask them how they feel about making this an annual thing. You would be surprised, people really respond to that idea and it’s a fun thing. Send them a thank you note for hosting you (because not only is it good manners, but you really are grateful) and maybe a little something, being generous never hurts. If you participated in an art or craft show, and did well, then talk to the event coordinators about either getting the same booth location or an upgrade if that’s appropriate. Apply early to shows you might want to do.
The next thing I want you take away in regards to scheduling is you have to plot out your selling holidays. You need to do this so you can give yourself enough time to check and replenish inventory, production and pricing, schedule marketing for your product, and allow for shipping times.
You need to have these dates out and in front of you all the time, even then they will creep up on you. Use the year at a glance calendar as a daily visual reminder, it will help you stay on track.
For example Mothers Day, up to 8 weeks prior you need to be aware of your current inventory. Produce or replace stock, price and prepare for sales. Start promoting and marketing up to 6-8 weeks from target sales date, schedule advertising and social media posts. Let your customers know order and ship dates. Be methodical, calculated, and consistent in all these areas, and you will look professional, and position yourself to actually sell. Don’t wing it or throw shit stuff together at the last minute, people can tell and it’s not awesome. Plan to be awesome.